Cuba Wants Close Ties With Russia, Despite Its Relations With US – Analyst

© Flickr / Day DonaldsonUS-Cuba relations opens a new chapter
US-Cuba relations opens a new chapter - Sputnik International
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A Cuban foreign policy expert said that the recent visit of Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Cuba has shown that Cuba is interested in maintaining close ties with Russia regardless of the current state of its relations with Washington.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The recent visit of Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Cuba has proven that Havana is interested in maintaining close ties with Russia regardless of the current state of its relations with Washington, a Cuban foreign policy expert told RIA Novosti.

“The visit [of Russia’s Defense Minister Shoigu] to Cuba has reaffirmed Havana’s willingness to continue maintaining high-level relations with Russia under any circumstances including in the context of the improvement of its [Havana’s] relation with the US,” Arturo Lopez-Levy, an expert on US-Cuban relations at the University of Denver told RIA Novosti.

A Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov SSV-175, is seen docked at the port in Havana - Sputnik International
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According to the political analyst, Shoigu’s Latin America tourney is a part of Russia’s foreign policy strategy which meets the aim of restoration of Russia’s influence as an international power.

On Wednesday Russian Defense Minister went on a three-day Latin American tour which included visits to Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

During his visit to Cuba Shoigu stated that Moscow is interested in expanding its naval cooperation with Havana. He also invited Cuban military delegations to come to Russia for Tank Biathlon World Championship, fourth international security conference and the international military-technical forum "Army 2015." Cuban President Raul Castro said that the delegations from his country will accept Moscow’s invitation.

The relations between Cuba and the United States have been in the spotlight of international attention since mid-December, 2014 when US President Barack Obama announced his decision to normalize US relations with the islands. Obama’s plans include opening an US embassy in Havana and easing certain sanctions imposed on Havana.

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